AURORA, Colorado -- A Colorado mother died shortly after she gave birth to a baby that doctors described as a seven-pound, four-ounce "miracle." Declan Jay Bugal was born November 3. While in labor with Declan, doctors discovered his mother, Karisa Bugal, had a rare and often deadly condition called amniotic fluid embolism.
"Deep down, I knew it wasn't good, but I wanted to keep faith," Karisa's husband Wes Bugal said. "They came in and rushed her back to the delivery room and had to do an emergency c-section."
Doctors called the prognosis grim and said it was possible Declan would die during birth.
As Declain's heart rate dipped, Karisa opted to have surgery right away -- the best option for Declan, but not for her own health.
"Her other option would have been to decline that and stay awake for her surgery, but by the time we would have put in a spine or something, it's possible that Declan would not have made it," Dr. Kelly Gerow said.
While that decision saved Declain, it cost Karisa her life.
"And that was about the last time I saw her," Wes said. "That's the hard part, explaining to him his mom's gone giving birth to him, explain to both of them where their mom's at, when they ask where's mommy."
"She came to the hospital to be a mom and she did what she was supposed to do," Karisa's sister Maren Oates added.
As Wes Bugal mourns, he offered some advice to others.
"Hold on to what you have now," he said. "You don't know when it's going to be taken from you."